Day 32 Istanbul to Thessaloniki

I can tell that we are getting closer to Paris as my supply of vitamin pills has dwindled substantially.

We were all sorry to depart Silivri as it was just a beautiful setting and a first class hotel but we must press on, regardless or not. The day began with nice weather but that didn’t last long. I drove to the border to give Lloyd a break and save him for the time trials in Greece this afternoon.

Since we are now in Europe we now have to conform to FIVA scoring and rules. Perhaps an explanation of how this event is scored would be helpful as I imagine the results are posted on the Rally web site. It took us a week or two to actually understand how the scoring works and that came only after a chat with Kim Bannister, the chief course marshall.

Each day has an established run time from the Main Time Control (MTC) in the morning to the Main Time Control (MTC) at the destination. If you arrive early, there generally is no penalty and if you arrive after your due time there is no penalty for 30 minutes. If you arrive any time up to the thirty minutes after your due time, you receive the established run time for the day. If you arrive after the thirty minutes of penalty free time, you are penalized for every minute after the penalty free period. For example, if the run time for your category (the older cars get more time) is 8 hours and you arrive after 7 hours and 45 minutes, your time for the day is 8 hours. If you arrive after 8 hours and 25 minutes, your time for the day is 8 hours. If you arrive after 8 hours and 45 minutes, your time for the day is 8 hours and 15 minutes.

Further, there is a maximum permitted lateness each, generally 1 hour. If you do not make it before that time there is a substantial penalty of 12 hours – best to make it before the maximum lateness. The maximum lateness is adjusted on some days, namely border crossings or unanticipated delays so as to not make it impossible to avoid massive penalties.

If there are Time Trials that day, the time it took to complete the Trial is also added to the daily time. Time Trials can last anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes determined by distance and difficulty of the road conditions. There is also a maximum time allowance for each Trial and should you not reach the finish by that time, the maximum time is treated as your score and an additional penalty added.

Finally, if you skip a Trial or miss a Control Point, guess what – yep – an additional penalty.

All penalties are in minutes which get added to your daily totals which are read in hours, minutes and seconds.


Ah, but in Europe, Time Trials cannot exceed and average speed of 50 km/hr on an open road (oh yes, I forgot, these Trials are on lightly used but open roads – watch out for oncoming traffic) per FIVA rules. Here a Target Time is assigned to each Trial and if you beat of match the Target Time, that is your time for that Trial. If you exceed the Target, you receive the time actually made on the Trial. Since most of these Trials are relatively short and many of the cars can beat the Target, there is little change in standing at this time.

This is probably much more than you wanted to know but, since I was driving this morning and not taking pictures, it will provide filler for today’s blog (and be a source for my own future reference).

Apparently, Turkey uses nuclear power – good for them.

We arrive at the Turkey / Greece border about 10:30 and were quickly processed out – what a treat.

The border agents leaving Turkey seemed to enjoy blowing their whistles and a couple of the characters on the rally had been saving official looking hats for the occasion. Then Lloyd provided the final touch for then – a whistle. These two guys entertained everyone, officials and competitors with a great slapstick show while waiting to process into Greece.

They looked pretty official to me …

We cleared Greek Customs by 11:45 making this the fastest crossing to date.

The Time Control (where we would have to wait for our assigned time to depart) on the Greek side of the border was changed to a Passage Control (where we could leave anytime) to reduce the night driving – great move on the part of the Organization. Departure was a little hectic to say the least.

The comedy team continued their antics to reduce tension. That is Chris Bruce(the Rally GPS and communications expert) on his knees in the middle of the road – I have no idea what he is up to …


No more than 1 km. inside Greece we had our first Time Trial under FIVA rules. The cars here are lined up to start at one minute intervals. The Trial was quite short (probably to introduce us to how it works) and Lloyd finished way ahead of the Target Time.

Just a collection of shots taken as the day progressed – the weather had now deteriorated and we had rain and fog to add to the driving tests so other pictures were useless. For those keeping score, from left to right, top to bottom, the cars are:

# 102 – 1964 Holden EH driven by Matthew Bryson and Gerry Crown

# 78 – 1939 Packard Six driven by Tim Clemons and John Chalmers

# 96 – 1967 Anadol driven by Ahmet Ongun and Erdal Tokcam

# 61 – 1935 Bently 3 ½ Park Ward driven by Reg Toohey and Tony Spanjers

# 90 – 1952 Holden 48-215 FX driven by Greg and Liz Newton

#27 – 1930 Chevrolet 6 Tourer driven by Mattia Nocera and Andrea Mandel-Mantello

# 35 – 1937 MG SA driven by Harry and Catherine Hickling

# 89 – 1957 Renault 4CV driven by Andrew Drinkwater and Diana Cooper

# 6 – 1919 America LaFrance driven by David and Elizabeth Wenman


This was the scene of a minor fender bender – fortunately no one was hurt.

Lloyd decided to adjust the brakes before the next Time Trial – they have taken a lot of abuse over the past several weeks and are now just starting to complain.

Time Trials went well all day and Lloyd beat the Target Times in all three trials. The brakes, however, had had enough and needed to be changed when we arrived in Thessaloniki. Fortunately, we were staying at the Met Hotel which had several levels of underground parking which they had cleared for our use. Dry and warm makes a big difference. I’m sure you will recognize Lloyd’s legs from under the car. We did encounter a bit of a problem as we could not locate a brake spring tool – managed to get the old ones off but putting new ones on was much more difficult. Once again, Peter Banham came to our rescue and managed to get both sets in place using only a pair of pliers in about 5 minutes – thanks again Peter.

All the cars seemed to appreciate a night in the garage.

The Met Hotel was a real treat – good food and nice rooms – Lloyd wanted to take the bed with him it was so comfortable. More Time trials in the morning and then on to the ferry to Ancona.

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3 Responses to Day 32 Istanbul to Thessaloniki

  1. Spencer Merz says:

    Love your daily writeups Chuck! Press on.


  2. Elaine Schwager says:


    We are all proud of both you and Lloyd! But there is no question you got huge brownie points with Mom by talking about taking your vitamins! Bravo. I miss you! Be safe and keep pressing on. You are almost there! I wish I was there too with you xoxo

    I love you!

  3. Larry Fredette says:

    All I can say is that you guys prepared that car wonderfully! The terrain and the mechanical stress seems to have been minor for such a beast of an automobile! You guys have been built equally as impressive and the wear and tear on you both physically and mentally has failed to rear its’ head. Thanks so much for the enjoyable reads every day Chuck. This has been a subject of conversation for many of my friends and associates. In fact, many want to know what kind of vitamin you take? It must work fairly well on men our age. Press on my friend!

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